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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The wonder of birds

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jenna Smith
Nature can be seen all around us, from the ground beneath our feet to the birds and the bees flying around the sky.

Many times, we forgot to value some of nature's wonders due to fear and frustrations.

In my case, I don't always appreciate birds because I don't like them flying around my house, car or me.

The male American Goldfinch can easily be recognized during the spring and early summer with his bright yellow body, black forehead and black and white wings.

Females are usually a duller yellow. Even though these birds are common around Indiana, they are not considered the state bird.

Instead, the American Goldfinch is the state bird for New Jersey, Iowa and Washington.

The state bird of Indiana is the Cardinal. It is also the state bird for six other states (including Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio).

The male of this species is commonly recognized by its brilliant red color and black face around the bill. Females are usually a pale brown color with reddish tinges on their wings, tail and crest.

The Robin is the state bird of Michigan. Robins are gray-brown birds with orange bellies and a dark head.

Occasionally, you can see a white patch on their lower belly and under the tail. Females often have paler heads.

The Northern Mockingbird is often the culprit behind continuous random bird sounds outside of homes and businesses. The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Tennessee. They are a gray-brown bird that is paler on their belly and has two white wingbars on each wing.

They also have white tail feathers that are easily noticeable when they are in flight.

Are you looking for a fun, educational way to spend a Saturday? Would you like to learn more about birds?

Then look no further than the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 8, for the fourth Nature Day.

Nature Day will be hosted by Purdue Extension Clay County and will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Nature Day will include something for everyone.

There will be informational booths on forestry, water quality, edible plants and campfire cooking.

Several booths will have hands-on activities.

Don't forget to stop by the booths related to the 4 B's: Bats, Bees, Birds and Butterflies.

At 10 a.m., there will be a creek stomp. At 11 a.m., Mark Booth will give a special presentation on raptors, and at noon, the Magic Gardener will perform some exciting magic tricks with an environmental twist.

And best of all, it is free.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County, or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Sept. 2-8 -- Going Local Week,

* Sept. 3 -- Extension Office closed. Holiday,

* Sept. 8 -- Nature Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Clay County Fairgrounds, and

* Sept. 8 -- Harrison County Cattlemen's Association Field Day 2012, 9 a.m.-3:10 p.m., Laconia, Ind. Cost is $15 (plus $10 for PARP credit). Call 812-738-4236 to register.

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